RELIEF GRANT FAQ

What is the COVID-19 Local 793 Emergency Relief Grant Program?


The Benefit Trustees are committed to helping members deal with the many challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. They worked with your benefit plan staff and legal advisors to introduce a relief grant program to provide special payments to eligible members over and above what the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) offers through the federal government. The purpose of the relief grant payments is to provide additional financial benefits to members who are not able to work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.




When is the COVID-19 Local 793 Emergency Relief Grant Program effective?


The COVID-19 Local 793 Emergency Relief Grant Program is effective retroactive to March 15, 2020.




What are the conditions to get a payment from the COVID-19 Local 793 Emergency Relief Grant Program?


a) Your employment must have been disrupted due to the COVID-19 crisis on or after March 15, 2020.

b) You must be receiving benefits under the CERB.

c) You must have been eligible under the Active Life and Health Benefits Plan when your employment was disrupted.

Note: Dependants of Plan Members and Retirees are NOT eligible for the COVID-19 Local 793 Emergency Relief Grant Program.




How do you qualify for relief grants from the COVID-19 Local 793 Emergency Relief Grant Program?


To qualify for payments, you must provide proof that you are receiving payments from the CERB. You can do this by providing a copy of your CRA confirmation, CERB benefit cheque, or CERB direct deposit confirmation.




How much relief grant money will I receive from the COVID-19 Local 793 Emergency Relief Grant Program?


You will receive up to $1,000 per 4-week period ($250 per week) for up to 16 weeks. This amount is taxable. This Relief Grant payment is in addition to the gross benefits you receive from the CERB.




When and how do I apply for the COVID-19 Local 793 Emergency Relief Grant Program?


You can apply starting Thursday April 23, 2020 at 9:00am.

You can apply three (3) ways for the COVID-19 Local 793 Emergency Relief Grant Program:

  1. Using online submission – go on the OEBAC website www.oebac.org and using the drop down box called COVID-19 Local 793 Emergency Relief Grant, enter the https://www.793portal.ca/ site. Once on the site you will follow instructions and enter the required information, and press submit. This is the fastest and most effective way to apply if you have an email address.
  2. By email submission – go on the OEBAC website www.oebac.org and using the drop down box called COVID-19 Local 793 Emergency Relief Grant, enter the https://www.793portal.ca/ site. Once on the site, you can find a Benefit Claim that you can use to enter your information. This claim form and supporting documents can then be sent by email to covidapplications@oebac.org
  3. By mail – go on the OEBAC website www.oebac.org and using the drop down box called COVID-19 Local 793 Emergency Relief Grant, enter the https://www.793portal.ca/ site. Once on the site, you can find a Benefit Claim form that you can print (or have someone print it for you). Fill in your information on this claim form and mail it to OEBAC at the following address:
    OEBAC
    2201 Speers Road, Unit 1
    Oakville ON L6L 2X9




When can I get the application for the COVID-19 Local 793 Emergency Relief Grant Program?


Claim forms will be available on the OEBAC website on Thursday April 23, 2020 at 9:00am.

Go to www.oebac.org/how-apply.




Who do I contact for assistance?


For help on the COVID-19 Local 793 Emergency Relief Grant call OEBAC at

1-844-793-1919 or you can email OEBAC at covidapplications@oebac.org

For assistance on the federal government CERB program, please visit their website at: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/apply-for-cerb-with-cra.html

For assistance on the federal government EI programs – call 1-833-371-2725 or go to: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei.html




What information will I need to complete the COVID-19 Local 793 Emergency Relief Grant Claim Form?


To complete the Claim Form, the following information is required:

  • Name
  • Certificate number
  • Banking information
  • Evidence that you are in receipt of payments from the CERB (see question 5 above)
  • Dates your employment was disrupted by COVID-19.
  • Your Employer
  • Your collective agreement
  • Type of equipment you operate




How do I send documentation to OEBAC to support my application for payments from the COVID-19 Local 793 Emergency Relief Grant Program?


You will be able to upload supporting documentation directly into our new https://www.793portal.ca/ site at www.oebac.org/how-apply .

If you do not have an email address, you will need to mail in your documents to OEBAC.

You can also send your claim form and any supporting documentation to covidapplications@oebac.org.




Are the relief grant payments from the COVID-19 Local 793 Emergency Relief Grant Program considered taxable income?


Yes. The relief grant payments are taxable and you will receive a T4A in 2021 for them.




Do I need to report the COVID-19 Local 793 Relief Grant payments as “income” when reapplying for the CERB?


Yes.

our Relief Grant payments are considered taxable income. However, the government has changed the CERB program such that you can earn up $1,000 (before taxes) or less during a 4-week eligibility period in addition to the CERB payment. As such the $1,000 that the COVID-19 Local 793 Relief Grant Program will pay you every 4 weeks will not affect your benefit from the CERB and there will be no claw back.




When will the relief grant payments from the COVID-19 Local 793 Emergency Relief Grant Program be made?


We have now received confirmation from the federal government that payments from the COVID-19 Local 793 Emergency Relief Grant Program will not reduce or eliminate your entitlement to CERB if your total income with the relief grant is less than $1,000 per month Therefore, OEBAC will start accepting your applications for the Relief Grant on April 23, 2020. Relief grant payments will be deposited into your bank account within 3 to 5 business days of your completed application being approved. Please understand there may be delays in the first few weeks as we expect large volumes of applications.




How often will grant payments from the COVID-19 Local 793 Emergency Relief Grant be made?


Payments will be made to align with the government CERB payments. At this time, this is once for every 4-week period.




Can I get my relief grant payments from COVID-19 Local 793 Emergency Relief Grant by cheque?


No. The Relief Grant Program will only make payments by direct deposit into your bank account. In order to receive a payment, you are required to provide your banking information when you complete your claim form.




If I was off work (i.e. diagnosed with COVID-19 or in self isolation) and then go back to work, am I still eligible for a payment from the COVID-19 Local 793 Emergency Relief Grant Program?


Yes.

The program is effective for all periods of lost income resulting from loss of employment from March 15, 2020 up to a maximum of 16 weeks.




What do I need to do to ensure continuation of payments from the COVID-19 Local 793 Emergency Relief Grant Program?


Members will be required to provide OEBAC with regular monthly confirmation that they are still out of work and in receipt of a CERB payment in order to continue receiving the Relief Grant payments. OEBAC will be auditing member documentation and reviewing employer remittances to ensure continued eligibility compliance. Confirmation of CERB payments can be provided through the h ttps://www.793portal.ca/ site or by email to covidapplications@oebac.org




What If I am receiving a pension and working when I get laid off, am I eligible for a payment from the COVID-19 Local 793 Emergency Relief Grant Program?


No. If you are receiving a pension from the IUOE Local 793 Pension Plan, you are not eligible for this benefit. This benefit is for active members who lose their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.




I am a retiree and got diagnosed with COVID-19. Can I apply for the COVID-19 Local 793 Emergency Relief Grant Program?


No. This benefit is only for active members who lose their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.




Can I go back to work and continue to receive a payment from the COVID-19 Local 793 Emergency Relief Grant Program?


No. The relief grant payments are only paid to active members who are not working due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fraudulent claims for payment from this benefit program will be investigated and members caught making false claims will be penalized. The funds used to pay these benefits come from members and are for assisting our members who have lost their jobs.




Do I qualify for COVID-19 Local 793 Emergency Relief Grant Program if I am already receiving EI Regular or Sickness Benefits as of March 15, 2020?


If you are receiving EI benefits, you should continue to report to Service Canada as normal. You will not be eligible for the COVID-19 Local 793 Emergency Relief Grant Program. If your EI benefits end before October 3, 2020, you can apply for the CERB, if you are still unable to return to work due to COVID-19. Once you are in receipt of payments from CERB, you may apply for the COVID-19 Local 793 Emergency Relief Grant.




What do I do if I applied for EI Benefits after March 15, 2020 but have not yet received benefits?


Your EI application will automatically be funneled into the new CERB program and your CERB payments will be processed.

Once your CERB payment begins, you should also apply for the COVID-19 Local 793 Emergency Relief Grant Program.




Can I apply for the CERB if I don’t qualify for EI Regular and Sickness Benefits?


Yes. If you do not qualify for EI Benefits, you can still apply for the CERB on the CRA portal. Please note the federal government recommends that you should apply based on the month of your birth, as noted below.

    • Month of Birth (Jan, Feb, Mar) – apply on Mondays
    • Month of Birth (Apr, May, Jun) – apply on Tuesdays
    • Month of Birth (Jul, Aug, Sep) – apply on Wednesdays
    • Month of Birth (Oct, Nov, Dec) – apply on Thursdays
    • Anyone can apply on Fridays

To ensure you can apply for the CERB, please register at CRA MyAccount

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/e-services/e-services-individuals/account-individuals/about-account.html




How often can I apply for a grant payment from the COVID-19 Local 793 Emergency Relief Grant?


You must reapply monthly (every 4 weeks) to get the COVID-19 Local 793 Emergency Relief Grant payment. This process coincides with the government CERB payments that you must also reapply for every 4 weeks.





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Operating Engineers Benefits Administration Corporation

IUOE Local 793 Benefits Administration

Oakville Ontario, Canada